Though the New England Patriots are bracing for the possibility that quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in the Deflategate scandal could be upheld, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said the team's preparation has not changed.
The NFL suspended Brady for four games without pay for violating the league’s policy on the integrity of the game after a report by independent investigator Ted Wells said it was “more probable than not" that Brady had knowledge of team staff deflating football before the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Brady is appealing the suspension and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will hear the appeal.
Though suspended, Brady is allowed to participate in practices and preseason games.
“It hasn’t changed anything for us. We’re doing the same thing we would have always done,” McDaniels said to the Boston Herald. “This is a time of year when you want to try to let everybody have an opportunity to rep, make mistakes, learn from them, get better and hopefully come into training camp here in another month and a half and have an opportunity to compete on an even playing field.”
McDaniels said he isn’t worried that Brady won’t be sharp because he has had good practices throughout the team’s offseason training program.
“He's the same Tom Brady I've always had a chance to coach at this time of the year," McDaniels said. "He is doing everything he can every day to get better. Nothing different than every year I’ve had a chance to work with him in the past.”
Second-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will likely get the starting nod, should Brady be forced to miss any regular season games.
- Scooby Axson